HomeTag EPO

“Play True” is the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) outward appeal to athletes, coaches, doctors, a myriad of handlers and advisers, and, ironically, anti-doping labs to keep sport clean. On one hand, “Play True” could be interpreted as a baseline demand, something educators might instill in elementary students. But it also reads like a plea; for fans of the sport and most importantly participant athletes themselves, there’s a lot to lose when athletes “Play False”. The...

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In the penultimate chapter of a doping story which began nearly two and a half years ago, Italian biathlon relay World Champion Gottlieb Taschler and his son Daniel, an IBU Cup-level competitor, were convicted by an Italian court. Doping is a criminal offense in Italy and Daniel Taschler was convicted of using illegal methods, while his father was convicted of assisting and concealing the activities. News first broke in late 2014 that the younger Taschler had been...

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The Russian rosters for January competition will include two names not seen in a while: Irina Starykh and Alexander Loginov. Both are returning to international competition after serving suspensions for using the blood-doping drug erythropoietin (EPO). Irina Starykh Makes a Fast Return Starykh has been named to the IBU Cup team. The next stage of competitions are in Martell, Italy, starting on January 5, 2017. Starykh was initially suspended in January, 2014, in the run-up...

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Note: this article has been updated to include more accurate information about Alexander Legkov’s participation at 2014 Russian Championships. At least 34 skiers are referred to in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s McLaren report, including one by name: Alexander Legkov, the 2014 Olympic champion in the 50 kilometer skate. Throughout the report’s evidentiary documents, names of athletes were scrubbed and replaced with alpha-numeric codes. But in one set of emails leaked by Grigory Rodchenkov, Legkov’s name is...

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While reporting regarding systematic doping by Russian teams has been building up for several years, the second part of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s McLaren report still took some by surprise in terms of the pure scope of the allegations. Tiger Shaw, CEO of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA), was one of them. “I am shocked by the level: the number of individuals colluding is shocking,” he said in an interview on Friday....

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Sergui Sednev of Ukraine is the latest athlete to be caught in the International Biathlon Union's re-testing of suspicious anti-doping samples from seasons past. At stake are two seasons' worth of results. All of the old samples have now been tested, but it's unclear whether more suspensions are still to come - a month passed between the analytical result in Sednev's case and the release of his name.

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A transcript (find a link inside) of the German documentary which exposed systematic doping in Russia reveals an even worse situation than imagined: how easy it is to purchase cheap EPO without a prescription; how Russian officials threaten that any athlete who goes to the press might "have an accident". Plus, we talk to Lowell Bailey, Nathan Smith, and Max Cobb about the situation.

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The International Biathlon Union has finally announced the verdict for Irina Starykh of Russia: a two-year ban beginning on December 23, 2013, the date samples were collected which eventually tested positive for recombinant erythropoetin. Starykh claims that the substance must have been in a drug she injected to improve her skin, but this seems unlikely.

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Finnish skier Tero Similä has tested positive for the blood-doping drug EPO. While the case will likely put Finland back in the spotlight again after the 2001 disqualifications of six top athletes at World Championships for the same offense, Similä wasn't on the national team and one possibility is that he turned to doping to try to make the Olympic team (he did not).

We read the FIS Anti-Doping Rules so you don't have to. Here are the answers to a few important questions in the wake of the Johannes Dürr EPO scandal. Yes, he was in FIS's registered testing pool (or at least, he should have been according to their own rules); and yes, they have a biological passport program. Dürr still dodged 14 tests, likely in part because of the short half-life of EPO.

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Austrian cross country skier Johannes Dürr says that he began taking EPO in June, after pressure to support his family became too much to bear. He says he acquired it from the former Yugoslavia. Meanwhile, the Austrian Ski Federation is considering kicking cross-country skiing out of the snow sports conglomerate after two scandals in three Olympics.

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Three biathletes were recently caught doping - but does that count as cleaning out the sport, or is it just the tip of the banned-substance iceberg? According to IBU medical director Dr. Jim Carrabre, the biathlon union has doubled their testing in the leadup to the Olympics and is using the blood passport program to aggressively target potential dopers. Some substances can't be detected, but the federation is pushing as hard as current science and WADA rules allow.

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This month, the Journal of Applied physiology confronted allegations of scientific misconduct in two cases: one when a study used an athlete who turned out to have been doping, and another when researchers asked participants to use banned methods. The journal invited discussion from many of the scientists involved as well as WADA, with interesting, and antagonistic, results.